Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Vermicelli Upma (Shavige Bhaat)

I was introduced to this dish by my co-sister when they shifted to Bangalore, and later when we shifted it became a breakfast/snack we all enjoyed. As i am always looking for quick to cook dishes, i buy the Dragon or Concorde brand of vermicelli. I have tried others as well, and found Concorde to be the best.

I have had some bad experiences with the vermicelli overcooking and sticking with the other brands and have had to invent dishes so as not to waste it. I hope i will post them sometime :-))
So, here goes the recipe.

What you need:
  • 1/2 packet Concorde rice vermicelli
  • 1 cup veggies (peas, potatoes, carrots, beans etc). You can use any veggies and sprouts as well to make it healthy, nutritious and a complete meal. For veggies like carrots, which are a little hard to cook, boil them before and then add them
  • green chillies, coriander (finely chopped), lemon juice,salt, grated ginger, and curry leaves according to the requirements
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • mustard, jeera, hing, urad dal, and turmeric powder for tadka

How to prepare:

  1. Take oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds.

  2. When it sputters, add hing, jeera, curry leaves, green chillies, grated ginger, turmeric powder and urad dal.

  3. Fry till the urad dal turns golden.

  4. Add the chopped onion and fry till it turns transparent.

  5. Add the veggies and let them cook.

Meanwhile:

  1. Boil 2-3 cups water in a vessel.

  2. When the water comes to a boil, add the vermicelli, switch off the gas, and cover with a lid.

  3. Leave for 5 mins, and then drain the vermicelli and spread it out.

  4. Add the vermicelli to the mixture in the kadai, add salt and lemon juice.

  5. Mix well and cover the kadai and let it cook for 5 mins.

Delicious Shavige Bhaat is ready to eat :). I did this post without realising that i had an entry for this month's Click event hosted by Bee and Jai of Jugalbandi. Thanks a lot Rajitha for posting the comment and letting me know :-).

So, here goes my entry for Click just-in-time before the deadline.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hacchida Avalakki (Spicy Poha)

This is one of my favorite snacks and i haven't tasted a yummier version than my mom's. No matter how much i try and use the exact same ingredients mom does, it just doesn't taste the same :).

A very healthy snack, its more like a salad as we use raw vegetables.
So mom, this post is dedicated to you for putting up with all our wishes and demands and continuing to do so till this day.

What you need:

  • 1 C Avalakki (thin rice flakes)
  • onion, tomato, and cucumber finely chopped
  • salt, chilli powder according to taste
  • 1 tsp oil
  • menthedhittu (called methkoot in Marathi). This is an aromatic powder made with menthe seeds. I do not have the recipe, will try to update or link if i find it. This is optional but really enhances the taste.
  • any chatni poodi if you want the taste
  • roasted peanuts
  • finely chopped coriander
  • lemon juice

How to prepare:

  1. Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl, garnish with coriander and serve.

Yep, that's it. Really simple and tastes soooooooo good. And this one goes to Asha for RCI - Karnataka.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ganpati Bappa Moraya

This is the chant i grew up hearing every year when the elephant god was brought to our homes with much fanfare and celebration. Ganesh Chaturthi is a very big festival like all the others :) and celebrated in a big way in Mumbai.

There are huge pandals with varied themes and decorations ranging from mythology to current events and huge Ganesha idols preside over all of these. Throngs of devotees wait for hours in long queues to catch a glimpse of their favorite god, participate in the aarati and partake prasadam.


For me and hubby dear, this is an important festival as Ganesha is our favorite God. So, like every year we celebrated the festival this year also. The highlight was i prepared the entire Neivedya without any help :-). Here's what I made.

Clockwise starting with salt, poori, potato-peas sabzi, tomato chatni, hesarbele kosambri, papad, steamed modak, fried modak, basundi, and rice-dal. All the dishes turned out well and we had a good lunch :).

Many things have changed, some for the better. We no longer immerse the idols in wells, lakes etc, but in a bucket in our house. My little one was thoroughly excited, fascinated, and amused with all these customs. He loved every minute of it and refused to budge from his position in front of the idol. We finally managed to convince him that bappa had to go back to his house and he agreed :-).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Healthy Dosa!

These are two recipes i tried last week but am posting today. I do not know if i can call these "recipes", more like experiments and trying to make the best possible use of the available ingredients and time ;-)
So, here are the variations i tried for the good old dosa we all love.

Mixed Vegetable Dosa



What you need


  • Dosa batter

  • Methi (Fenugreek) finely chopped, grated Bottle gourd (i used the veggies in my fridge)

  • Coriander, chillies and cumin seeds finely chopped or ground in the mixie

  • 1 Onion finely chopped

  • Salt to taste

    • How to prepare


      1. Mix all the ingredients in the dosa batter.

      2. Heat the tava, pour a ladle of batter, spread the dosa, and let it cook till slightly brown.
      That's it. Isn't it a tasty, healthy and nutritious but extremely easy recipe?



      Mixed Dal Dosa




      This is called Adai when you use a specific proportion and types of dals to make it. I have modified the original to suit the availability of ingredients in my kitchen when we feel like having a quick, light, healthy snack or sometimes even dinner.


      What you need
      • Rice, udad dal, chana dal (i had only these, you can also add tur dal, moong dal, masoor dal etc)
      • Coriander, chillies, and cumin seeds
      • Salt to taste
      How to prepare
      1. Soak all the dals for about 3-4 hours.

      2. Grind to a smooth batter with the coriander, chillies, cumin seeds and salt.

      3. Heat the tava, pour a ladle of batter, spread the dosa, and let it cook till slightly brown.

      You will get your protein boost with the dals and it requires very less oil as well. You can eat it with any available chatni powder or the standard coconut chutney and sambar. Also, tastes yummy with a blob of fresh home-made butter :-)

      Wednesday, August 29, 2007

      RCI - Karnataka Cuisine

      I came across this event hosted by Asha who has an amazing blog - Foodie's Hope. Karnataka - the land of lovely rivers, amazing tourist spots, great heritage, and of course the highlight for this post...varied and rich food.

      So, here are two of my Amma recipes, which are very simple, easy-to-make but taste great!

      Aradbele Usali

      What you need :

      • 1 cup chana dal (soaked overnight)

      • green chillies (depends on the spice requirement)

      • bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped

      • cumin seeds

      • mustard, hing, curry leaves

      • 1 onion finely chopped

      • salt to taste

      How to prepare:

      1. Drain the water from the soaked chana dal and coarsely grind the chana dal, green chillies, coriander, cumin seeds, and salt.

      2. Take some oil in a pan for the tadka (seasoning).

      3. Add mustard, when it splutters, add hing, and jeera.

      4. Add the chopped onion and saute till the onion is cooked.

      5. Add the ground mixture and keep the vessel covered for 5-10 mins.

      Yes, that's it! You have a simple and tasty dish ready. This can be eaten as a snack in itself or you can use it as a side dish. You can also mix it with curd and it tastes even better.

      The next dish I have is hesarabele (Yellow Moong dal) kosambri. This dish reminds me of my mami who used to make panaka (raw mango drink) -kosambri every year in the Chaitra month. She used to invite all the neighbourhood ladies for arisana (turmeric powder)-kumkum and give them panaka - kosambri on small rectangular pieces of banana leaves. We would eagerly wait for the guests to arrive so we could sneak in and eat and drink on the pretext of bringing the goodies for the guests ;-).

      Hesarabele kosambri


      What you need:

      • 1 cup moong dal (soaked for 2-3 hours)

      • 1/2 cup grated coconut

      • a bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped

      • hing, jeera, green chillies

      • 1 lemon or 1/2 grated raw mango

      How to prepare:

      1. Drain the water from the soaked moong dal.

      2. Add salt, grated coconut, and finely chopped coriander.

      3. Take 2-3 tspns oil in a pan.

      4. Add mustard, when it splutters, add hing, and jeera.

      5. Add the green chillies. You can also substitute these with uppu menesinkai (masala chillies).

      6. Add the tadka to the moong dal mixture.

      7. Squeeze the juice of a lemon or add grated raw mango.

      8. Mix well.

      Oh! my mouth is watering. I am going to enjoy my meal :-). Hope you do so too!!

      Thursday, August 23, 2007

      Monsoon Memories

      It's the rainy season and the weather keeps fluctuating between hot, humid, pleasant, cold, lovely, and gloomy. This season brings back a lot of memories of the good childhood times.

      The spluttering of mustard seeds as mom prepared tadka or the hot oil hissing when the pakoda batter was fried, hot cups of bournvita, vicks massage for sniffly noses, wading through dirty pools of water and getting scolded, making paper boats...I can go on with these nostalgic memories.

      What I also distinctly remember is the combination of ingu-bella (hing+jaggery) that my dad used to religiously make for all the family members every year at the onset of monsoon. We were supposed to eat this concoction for avoiding the plethora of monsoon ailments. It was a ritual we used to look forward to. Every year, dad would gather all the kids (we used to have a joint family), and sit down to commence the task of mixing hing and jaggery. He would break the jaggery and then pound it to a fine powder after mixing the hing in it. This mixture would then be rolled out into small marble sized balls and passed around for everybody to eat. Hmm! what fun!

      I look back at these memories and wonder if my son will experience any of these customs. We have all grown up, moved on and this ritual has been long forgotten. But, even now whenever dad is around at this time, he makes sure we have our dose of ingu-bella :-).

      Thursday, August 16, 2007

      Picnic Recipe - Aloo Patties

      I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the various recipes and posts in different blogs and came across the Fun in the Sun picnic event on Anupama's blog. My immediate thought was about making something simple, tasty, and easy. So, here's my simple and easy-to-make but very popular recipe.

      Aloo Patties

      What you need:

      • 8-10 potatoes
      • 4-5 green chillies (depending on the spice requirement)
      • cumin seeds (jeera)
      • a bunch of coriander leaves
      • 4-5 curry leaves

      Dry grind the chillies, cumin seeds, coriander and curry leaves.

      • turmeric powder
      • salt to taste
      • semolina (rava)
      How to prepare:
      1. Pressure cook the potatoes. Take care not to overcook them
      2. Peel the cooked potatoes and mash them
      3. Add the ground spice, turmeric powder, and salt
      4. Mash and mix well
      5. Make small round balls and flatten them a bit on your palm
      6. Lightly roll the aloo patties in the semolina on both sides
      7. Put 2-3 tsps oil on a tava and shallow fry the patties on both sides till they are brown

      Lo! the aloo patties are ready to eat. You can also use other vegetables, but this is the easiest and takes very little time to prepare. You can serve it with sauce, ketchup, or mint chutney, curd etc. I do not have a picture at the moment to showcase this recipe but will try and update it soon :-)

      And till the next post, Happy Cooking!

      Yummy Pulao

      Rice - the staple diet in most Indian homes. I love this grain for the versatility it offers in cooking. Eat it plain with ghee, add sambar/rasam, or add veggies, spices and lo you have a complete meal. So, when saw the JFI Rice event hosted by Sharmi, I decided to send one of my all-time favorite rice recipes.

      This is a really simple and yummy recipe for my all-time favorite - Pulao. This is something I keep improvising and playing around with the ingredients in my quest for quick, tasty, and healthy food ;-). Most of the ingredients are approximations but i will try my best to put down the correct measures. The best part really is that even with a few variations here and there, it still tastes good :-)

      What you need:

      1 cup basmati rice

      1 cup cut veggies (peas, beans, carrots, u can also use sprouts)

      a bunch of coriander leaves + 2-3 chillies depending on how spicy u like it (grind to a paste)

      hing (asafoetida)

      cumin seeds (jeera)

      2-3 tsps oil

      How to prepare

      Put 2-3 tsps of oil in a pressure pan, and keep it on medium flame.

      When the oil heats up, put hing and cumin seeds and stir for a bit till the aroma is released

      Pour the cut veggies and stir for 1-2 mins

      Pour the basmati rice and fry for 5 mins

      When the rice starts sticking to the pan, pour the coriander-chilli mixture and stir for 1-2 mins

      Pour the required quantity of water for the rice to cook, Add salt to taste, close the pan and cook for 2-3 whistles

      Serve with cucumber raita, dal (will post my version of these recipes).

      Happy Cooking!



      Tuesday, August 14, 2007

      Yipee - The First Post

      I have been reading quite a few food blogs for some time now, and wondering whether i too should start penning down my sucessess and disasters in the kitchen. I must say, all these wonderful blogs out there have been a real inspiration and finally i have made up my mind. Hope, the enthusiasm keeps up and I continue posting at regular intervals!!